Strategic thinking in telehealthcare : a possible solution to easing the financial strain on Ireland’s overburdened health service

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Bunting, Ronan
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MBA in Executive Leadership
Dublin Business School
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The purpose of this study is to examine the potential problems facing the Irish health service going forward as a result of two key factors, Firstly, as a result of the current economic climate the ability to operate the service is becoming significantly more difficult as a result of greatly diminishing budgets. Secondly, the problem is being exasperated by Ireland’s rapidly aging population which is set to double in the next decade. Chapter One illustrates the current position of the health service and overview of the research topic generally. A possible scenario could be that the health service will no longer be in a position to provide a suitable level of care to its patients. The research topic looks at feasible alternatives to traditional care practices by embracing technologies such as Telehealthcare. However, there is clear resistance to the application of these technologies from various quarters within the health service. In order to examine this issue, Chapter two illustrates the literature around the area of research. The investigation has applied an extension of McKinsey’s 7’S model of strategy. The objective for testing this model is aimed at highlighting the various issues health professionals have with the technology and leading to a favorable outcome. Chapter three looks at the various methods applied to satisfy the requirement of a thorough investigation. The researcher adapted a pluralistic approach, the use of qualitative and quantitative data analysis to deliver reliable outcomes. The qualitative element of this research involved seven individuals within the health field. A total sample size of 106 existing users of telehealthcare agreed to take part, and enrich the research with their experience of Telehealthcare technologies. Chapter four addresses the researcher’s findings from the collection of primary data. The findings highlight the general feelings of the research proposal from an industry and patient perspective. Finally, Chapter five explores various conclusions and recommendations as a direct result of primary data collection within the research. The research also proposes various ways in which the health service can save millions of euro annually through effective strategic thinking and planning.